UK’s Pearson invests in SA education

23 November 2010

UK-based multinational publishing and education company Pearson plc is to acquire a 75% stake in South Africa’s CTI Education Group for £31-million (about R347.7-million) in cash, as part of its plans to expand in the southern African region.

The transaction will strengthen Pearson’s position as a leading education company in southern Africa, and also makes allowance for Pearson to acquire the remaining 25% stake in CTI in three years’ time.

Pearson international education business CEO John Fallon said the company was excited to enter the local market and meet a growing demand for high-quality, career-advancing higher education in South Africa and the region.

“We are deeply impressed by the quality of CTI’s business and the commitment of its management and staff to produce excellent outcomes for students, and we look forward to this new partnership with them,” Fallon said in a statement this week.

“Pearson’s worldwide range of content, curriculum and digital tools will help CTI broaden its range of courses and degrees, and our marketing capacity will enable CTI to reach more students across the African continent.”

CTI is a higher education institution with more than 9 000 students on 12 campuses, and offers diplomas and degrees in subjects as business, information technology, law, psychology and counselling, graphic design and creative arts.

These include degrees accredited by both the South African Council of Higher Education and the British Accreditation Council; degrees offered in partnership with UK universities such as the University of Wales and Heriot-Watt University; and diplomas and vocational qualifications including BTECs from Pearson. Since 2006, CTI has been in partnership with the Midrand Graduate Institute (MGI).

“We anticipate a whole new phase in the development of the CTI Education Group including MGI, which offers a broad spectrum of degrees serving students from South Africa and other countries in southern Africa,” said CTI Education Group chairman Michiel Barnard.

“CTI and MGI have awesome qualifications, two very strong brands and a wealth of university management experience. Pearson’s strong brand, educational resources and global reach will help leverage CTI’s strengths and transform the higher education landscape in southern Africa.”

Recruiting foreign students

About 15% of CTI first-year students already come from African countries other than South Africa, including Nigeria, Ghana and Zimbabwe.

Pearson plans to recruit more students from throughout southern Africa to CTI’s South African campuses, which include Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria and Bloemfontein, and also apply Pearson’s distance-learning model to educate students further afield through CTI.

Pearson Southern Africa serves the school, higher education and vocational markets, providing learning materials, assessment, teacher training and other educational solutions through its companies in South Africa and 10 other countries in southern, central and east Africa.

These include Maskew Miller Longman, Heinemann South Africa and the South African operations of Edexcel, Pearson’s international academic and vocational qualifications and assessment business.

SAinfo reporter

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